What to do if your doorbell is spying on you and your family

Like any other doodad in the tech space, doorbells have gone “smart.” Maybe too smart. Not only do they have small video cameras, they can also invade your privacy.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the popular “Ring” doorbell/home security system “allows employees to spy on customers through their cameras, including those in their bedrooms or bathrooms, and take videos of customers, including videos of children, vulnerable to online attackers .”

“Hackers took advantage of those vulnerabilities and attacked, insulted, and abused children and teens with their Ring cameras,” the FTC said. “Some hackers have even live-streamed customer videos.”

The FTC sued Ring and agreed to a settlement “to establish a privacy and security program and remove the videos it shouldn’t have — in addition to paying affected customers $5.8 million.”

How can you protect yourself? Here’s what the FTC suggests:

View for more information your guide to protecting your privacy online. For more information about the settlement, see the FTC’s business blog.